Record Crowd of More Than 43,000 Packs NWTF Convention
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – A record crowd of more than 43,000 people filled Nashville, Tenn., this weekend for the National Wild Turkey Federation's 33rd annual Convention and Sport Show, breaking the previous attendance record set in Nashville in 2007.
Convention-goers poured into the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center from Feb. 19 to Feb. 22 for an action-packed weekend filled with entertaining and educational outdoor seminars, award-winning country music entertainment, turkey calling contests, an emotional tribute to our military veterans, exciting auctions, world-class taxidermy and custom turkey call displays, an exhibit hall packed with more than 545 booths of the outdoor industry's latest gear and much more.
A wave of camouflage and a barrage of turkey calls were seen and heard in Nashville throughout the weekend as turkey hunters came out in force to support the NWTF's mission of wildlife conservation and preservation of hunting traditions while providing a powerful boost to the local economy.
“We have the best members in the world,” said NWTF CEO George Thornton. “They refuse to allow an economic downturn to dampen their passion for conservation and hunting. It was an outstanding show and we look forward to seeing everyone back again next year in Nashville.”
The NWTF is a national nonprofit conservation organization that was founded in 1973 and has worked with wildlife agencies to restore wild turkey populations from 1.3 million wild turkeys in 1973 to nearly 7 million today. Now, NWTF volunteers raise funds and work daily to improve critical wildlife habitat, increase access to public hunting land and introduce new people to the outdoors and hunting.
For more information about the NWTF visit www.nwtf.org/ or call (800) THE-NWTF.
2009 Convention Sponsors
Bank of America, Bass Pro Shops, Browning, Call Makers and Collectors Association of America, Chevrolet, Crescent Cardboard Co., LLC, Federal Premium Ammunition, Foxy Huntress, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Knight Rifles, Leupold & Stevens, Longleaf Camo, Marlin Firearm/H&R 1871 LLC, Mathews Bows, Inc., MeadWestvaco, Motorola, Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, National Band and Tag, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., Outdoor Channel, The Outdoor Connection, Inc., Remington Arms Company, Inc., S.C. State Chapter, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Tennessee State Chapter, The Sportsman Channel, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, Weatherby, Inc., Weyerhaeuser, Wild Turkey Bourbon and Winchester Olin
About the NWTF:
In 1973, Tom Rodgers founded the National Wild Turkey Federation in Fredericksburg, Va., as a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization with a mission dedicated to conserving wild turkeys and preserving hunting traditions. Shortly thereafter, Rodgers relocated the NWTF to Edgefield, S.C., where it's still headquartered today.
At the time NWTF was established, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys. Today that number stands at more than seven million birds throughout North America, thanks to the efforts of state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members and partners.
Growth and progress define the NWTF as it has expanded from 1,300 members in 1973 to nearly a half million today. With that growth has come impressive strides in wildlife management as the NWTF has forged dynamic partnerships across the country to further its conservation mission. Together, the NWTF's partners, sponsors and grassroots members have raised and spent more than $286 million upholding hunting traditions and conserving nearly 14 million acres of wildlife habitat.
While wild turkey restoration is nearing completion, the NWTF still has much work to do. Across North America, supporters are working to enhance habitat for wild turkeys and other wildlife while providing hunters with more opportunities and access to public and private land. In addition, NWTF volunteers and partners are introducing youth, women and people with disabilities to the outdoors through special educational events.